Dr. Loren Sumner

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr Loren SumnerDr. Loren Sumner has been teaching undergraduate and graduate classes in the thermal sciences at Mercer since the fall of 1998, and for a short duration has served as chair of the mechanical engineering department as well as the freshman director for the school of engineering. He has prior experience working as a design engineer of jet-engine components at Pratt & Whitney in West Palm Beach and has completed several research fellowships for NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Sumner has taught 21 topically different courses to include each level of student, freshman through graduate. His favorite classes to teach include: Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Turbomachinery, Alternative Energy, and Numerical Methods.


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Major topic area: Hydrodynamic Stability | Minor: Environmental Hydraulics)
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • B.M.E., Highest Honors, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Maryville College

Area(s) of Specialization

  • Alternative Energy
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Hydrodynamic Stability
  • Turbomachinery

Research/Professional/Teaching Interests

Dr. Sumner focuses his research on particular topics in the thermal-sciences branch of mechanical engineering. Guided work for M.S. theses have considered the micro-fluidics of flagella with perturbation theory and both theoretical and experimental investigations into non-wetting droplets is microchannels. He especially enjoys serving as client for capstone senior design projects which have successfully developed many devices to include PEM fuel-cell systems, a micro-hydraulic turbine for electrical power generation, and a small gas turbine engine cycle with balance of plant. Alternative energy systems are also of interest and particularly in the context of global resource management considering safety, security, sustainability, and the environment.

Other Interests

Dr. Sumner is married with one daughter, a Mercer graduate now proudly serving our country. He enjoys live music, guitar, and ultra-endurance sports, and once logged many hours running the trail, swimming, and cycling. But mostly, Dr. Sumner enjoys interacting with Mercer students as they work to develop understandings and capabilities in mechanical engineering.

Favorite Publications

A theoretical work investigating non-wetting:

A senior design project upgrading an axial-flow hydraulic turbine:

Senior Design Project

Will Fox, Clayton Guest, Alex Meyer, 4-in Axial Flow Turbine Runner, PDR – Fall 2018, CDR – Spring 2019

Pictured left to right: Will Fox, Alex Meyer, and Clayton Guest





Office: Engineering Building 105